When Dr. John Cheng opted to attend church services at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, just 45 minutes outside of Los Angeles, California, he had no idea that he would sacrifice his prosperous and successful life to save scores of his fellow churchgoers. But that was precisely what the 53-year-old sports medicine physician and father of two did.
Cheng was attending a church service with his elderly mother. Many of the other parishioners were also elderly, prompting the heroic doctor to take decisive action against 68-year-old David Chou. Cheng sustained multiple gunshot wounds tackling Chou once it became clear Chou was planning a mass casualty attack. According to law enforcement officials, thanks to Cheng’s quick actions, the shooter was delayed from killing more people—and it gave the other parishioners time to jump into action and attack the crazed gunman.
John Cheng is, unequivocally, a hero. Like so many other acts of terrorism conducted against Americans, the attack brought to light the very worst and, in Cheng, the very best of humanity. But now the calls for justice must be heard. We must understand how and why this attack happened, not only to avenge Cheng’s murder . . . but to determine if the terrorist attack directed against Taiwanese Americans was an isolated event or the start of a new pattern of terrorism.
David Chou, the suspected shooter, wasn’t just some lone wolf kook. He was part of a political movement known as the “Las Vegas Chinese for Peaceful Unification” movement. This organization is not an independent entity unique to Las Vegas, Nevada. According to reports from the Taipei Times, this organization is a “semi-official [arm] of the Chinese Communist Party with branches in several countries.”
Thus, it seems, we have a larger problem.
Tensions between Taiwan and China are on the rise—and China’s leader Xi Jinping is increasingly under political pressure from his political enemies at home. Terrorism is, first and foremost, a political act. The shooter in question, David Chou, wrote a detailed explanation for his attack, entitled “Diary of an Independence-Destroying Angel,” in which he outlined his hatred for Taiwan and his desire to bring Taiwan back under Chinese control. It is imperative for Washington’s leaders to be prepared for subsequent attacks.
In 1999, a pair of senior colonels for the People’s Liberation Army wrote a tract called Unrestricted Warfare. The book became the basis for official Chinese strategic doctrine from that point onward. The work lists several potential tactics to use against the more powerful United States. One tactic that was prominently featured in that book was terrorism. The entire purpose of Unrestricted Warfare was to provide a basis for China’s resistance to what it viewed as unwanted American domination—not only in the Indo-Pacific, but across the world. While China’s military could not hope to challenge the United States military in a fair fight, the use of unconventional—unrestricted—warfare tactics directed against military and civilian targets alike could prove decisive in defeating the Americans without the Chinese ever having to wage a fair fight, in the conventional sense, with their American rivals.
Six people were murdered by a man who was affiliated with a known radical, CCP-backed organization with global links whose entire mission is predicated upon the successful reintegration of democratic, independent Taiwan with authoritarian China. To make his political point, the shooter targeted the vulnerable Taiwanese-American population. It is essential that the U.S. government determine if there will be more of these attacks—and if the shooting was in any way sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party.
Before the 9/11 attacks, the United States was subjected to a series of other terrorist attacks conducted by al Qaeda against “soft” targets elsewhere in the world. Over a decade, the attacks escalated in severity and daring—al Qaeda was perfecting their methodology with each attempt, setting up for their coup de grace: the 9/11 attacks.
It is possible that the mass shooting of the Taiwanese-American Irvine Presbyterian Church in California is similar to those escalating al Qaeda attacks that occurred throughout the 1990s, eventuating in the devastating 2001 attack. This would make sense, especially if Beijing was giving serious thought to attacking Taiwan soon. China’s leaders would need America distracted and afraid to engage China in direct confrontation.
Rather than looking for Russian ghosts under every bed at Mar-a-Lago or infiltrating school board meetings to root out pesky parents concerned about their childrens’ education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its sister organizations should devoteg their time and resources to determine the extent of CCP-inspired terrorism in the United States.
The ultimate sacrifice of John Cheng and the other victims of this horrific terrorist attack in California cries out for justice, and part of receiving justice means ensuring that a similar terrorist act inspired by the diseased ideology of the CCP cannot occur.